25 April 2007

my kid is the best

On Monday we had this year's parent-teacher conference at James' preschool. It's just incredible to look at his growth over the year, and especially over the last two years. Last year at this time we still had a lot of concerns over his emotional development -- for such a bright, confident, social kid, he has always been remarkably sensitive. But in the last year he has made huge strides in learning to control his emotions (i.e., being able to talk through a problem instead of simply bursting into tears) and this year, our biggest worries are his skill with scissors and his pencil grasp, both of which are proficient but not great. I'd say that's a lot of improvement.

Some highlights from his teacher's assessment:

James is an attentive listener... eagerly participates... works independently and creatively... exhibits excellent comprehension skills... responds creatively to literature, enthusiastic about play-acting the stories we read... generally cooperative and helpful... a pleasure to have in class... a bright boy with a lot to offer.
And on his emotional development:

James shows growth in the social/emotional realm this year. He is making a variety of friends and is well-liked by all. James is making positive efforts towards negotiating and compromising with others. His ability to deal with disappointment is much improved.
I think the bit about making a variety of friends is in there because last year, there were two boys who basically carried out James' every command, followed his directions, and copied just about everything he did, and this year, one of those boys is no longer in the class, and the other spends a lot of time with a friend of his who joined the class, so James has been forced to interact with the other kids. This was actually really hard on him at first: going from leader of your own little gang to just another kid in the classroom wasn't easy for James, but he has adapted splendidly. He makes me proud.

James' teacher writes in the letter (and has pointed out to me many times) that James "knows so much about so many things it is sometimes hard to remember he is still a 5 year old boy." Each of my kids has had that issue: being so advanced in one particular area that it's startling to remember that in other areas, they are typical. With Evan, his early speech fooled us into thinking he'd be quick at everything, and that's definitely not been the case. Likewise, James' aptitude for reading, science and math has made him seem so mature that his emotional immaturity seemed unusual, when actually that aspect of his personality was more age-appropriate.

But James is growing up, maturing in every way. First Evan starts changing from a baby to a toddler, and now James is changing from a preschooler to a kindergartener. Man, these changes bring out a lot of sappy mama talk from me. But I would have to say that this is my favorite part of parenthood -- witnessing this growth and development, guiding them through these changes. This is what I love about being a mama.


ren said...

"Responds creatively to literature" - I love that. What great feedback!

Anonymous said...

how wonderful :)